Comparison task between Prokofiev's Classical Symphony and 'The Yellow River'
968 WordsNov 11, 20134 Pages
Music Comparison Task: Prokofiev, Mvt 3, Yellow River, Mvt 2
The Yellow River’s 2nd movement begins with the conjunct rise and fall of the cello melody in the upbeat to the first bar, the Classical Symphony’s 3rd movement melody begins after the 4 bar intro with a heavy ‘rustic’ ie. pastoral-like themed in its whimsicality. This melody in the upper strings descends sequentially and modulates to chord 6 in B minor after the first two bars of figure 1. The chord progression in bar 7 moves from F sharp through C sharp and then back to F sharp in an interrupted cadence. This is then surpassed by the key change in bar 10 to C sharp major 2nd inversion, returning to the original tonic key of D major by bar 12 by means of a…show more content…
In bar 14 the harmony is coloured by a diminished chord of B, with the D, the 4th note omitted from the chord. The drone continues to accompany the light, teasing detached melody in the flute helped by the pianissimo dynamics, passing through the G major, perfect cadence in bar 20. In bar 28 there is a division between the strong cadence in the string accompaniment which finishes on the first beat of the bar and the weak cadence in the melody which finishes its octave cycle on the second beat. It gives the phrase a much weaker end, as if it is leading us to something more important. Upon reprise of the first section, it is important to note the ‘chamber music textures’ of the orchestra. The sound is overtly thinner and more empty. The stripping away of the rich romanticised textures, as with the melody being given here to two flutes instead of the violins, and with the echo of the horn in the final bar of the Yellow River, the fading away effect is a touch common to both pieces. In terms of key and modulations, it should be noted that in its short span of 41 bars, the Classical Symphony seems to be more liberal in its degree of key changes. The neat characteristics of Prokofiev’s compositional style are illustrated though the chromatic hooks used to bring us back to the keys we expect. This is typical of Neo-Classicism. It should also be noted that Xinghai’s second movement seems largely